Interview with Marty (Punko) from Cosplay Melee

Episode 3 of Cosplay Melee featured Angels, Demons, and Wings! We interviewed Marty about her work on the episode and her amazing gilded fallen angel, Numilliel.

First of all, congrats on your episode! It was so awesome to see everything come together – when everyone at the office realized the first challenge was wings, and to be done in 8 hours, we groaned collectively! What was the hardest part of getting things done for the first challenge?
Well, the hardest part for me was the fact that I’d never MADE wings before! Once or twice in the past I’ve made cheap little coat-hanger-and-nylons fairy wings for temporary use. This was my first attempt at actual wings. I was dying of nerves! Plus I had no idea when I tried to design mine that I would have a problem building up a 3D effect for my paper “feathers.” I wanted to mount them over foam at first, but there just wasn’t time to individually do that for each feather.

We loved how you got your wings to move! It was seriously impressive and you had such a great wingspan. How long do you think you were working on the problem before you had your ‘a-ha!’ moment?

AGES. LOL I would have had more armor for my legs and arms if I hadn’t had to go back and work over and over on getting my wings to properly work! It was more of a dozen little mini “aha moments”…from just getting the bare bones to move, to figuring out how to string the bigger feathers together so they would open up with the wings, to putting emergency elastic braces into the wings when they were too heavy to open by themselves at the end. I’m still amazed I managed to get it done at all.

Just how heavy were those wings when you were done, anyway?

I have a nice permanent scar on my shoulder now from wearing them for a few hours during shooting. Let’s just say they were heavy.

You used Worbla for your breastplate, and explained it was for the speed and ease while you were constructing it. Did you end up using Worbla for other parts of the costume, or was it foam? Those shoulder feathers had us intrigued!

I used worbla not only for the breastplate, but for the gauntlet bases to give them shape around my arms. You can’t see it on the inside, but there are bits of worbla in the wings as well, giving strcture underneath where needed. The shoulder feathers are actually craft foam, but I have also made them in worbla and prefer to do it that way sometimes. I think if I’d had more time, this would have been a worbla BEAST, with lots more armor and worbla feathers :3

What other work have you done with Worbla? Do you have a favorite costume you’ve constructed with it?
I like worbla for armor, but I’m also actually using worbla right now to construct a Wreck-It Ralph Sugar Racer go-kart! It’s going to be perfect for the hood, and I’m excited to get my hands on some clear worbla to make the headlights and chair back. Never worked with the clear stuff before but VERY stoked to try it! I hear it’s amazing. I have some plans in mind for clear wings and visors as well, once I get some. Basically I’m going to sell all my possessions and buy a kiddie pool full of worbla and just wiggle around in it while I plan a million new costumes.

We noticed that SyFy doesn’t list anyone’s handles, everyone is going by their real name and none of their website info lists your handles either. I was pretty surprised at that – did they ever explain to you the reasoning why
Not sure, you’d have to ask them. I don’t really have a handle, I just go by Marty, or by Punko on Twitch and some other places, so it didn’t really crease me.

The workshop is out of a cosplayer’s dream: what tool did you get to use for the first time while working there? IS there anything you wish you could take home with you?
If I had a big enough trenchcoat, I woulda smuggled out the whole shop. XD But definitely the big drill press. I’ve used one before on projects and at various jobs, but I don’t have one of my own and MAN was it the best. Glad they didn’t show the clip of me smooching the drill press. That got a little weird.

Did working on Cosplay Melee inspire you to any new or bigger projects? Anything you were scared to try that you want to dive into next?
Oh, TOTALLY. I gained so much confidence from this show! I never knew I could actually use pneumatic stuff until I really tried with that actuator! Now I’m looking into wings, go-karts, you name it! You wouldn’t believe the stuff I have in store. It’s blowing my mind just thinking about it.

Last question: What advice would you give cosplayers who want to participate in next season’s Cosplay Melee?

Just have fun with it! Don’t freak out or start trying to guess what the judges will say while you’re still building. I had fun on the show and didn’t let myself get sick with stress or worry. Just relax and go with your gut instinct. Don’t let the competition get in the way of having fun.

You can find Marty on Facebook and Instagram!